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tv   The Daily Rundown  MSNBC  August 8, 2011 9:00am-10:00am EDT

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michele bachmann winning the ames, iowa, straw poll. it's going to be all right, ed. >> that was a good one. pat, thank you. willie, if it's way too early, what time is it? >> it's "morning joe." we'll see you back here tomorrow. stick around right now for "the daily rundown" with chuck todd. the downgrade. despite the controversy behind the math of s&p's decision, one thing's for sure, there's a lot of uncertainty. not just in the markets, but with democrats about president obama's re-election. we ames to please. today marks the start of the most important week in the 2012 republican primary so far. playing the expectations game, can michele bachmann live up to the iowa hype? we'll get a live rural route fr from des moines. and we're live in austin for the latest on rick perry. tragedy in afghanistan. the latest on that chopper downed by taliban fire. 38 people killed, 30 of them american service members,
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including some of the most elite navy s.e.a.l.s. the single deadliest day in our nation's longest running war. it's monday, august 8th, 2011. i'm chuck todd. quite the packed monday. let's get right to my first read of the morning and it starts with the downgrade. economic uncertainty could be the greatest obstacle for president obama's re-election campaign and standard & poor's decision to downgrade the country's credit rating for the first time ever doesn't help that anxiety. here's s&p's managing director, john chachambers, on the substa of their decision. >> we have a negative outlook, which speaks to a longer time frame, from 6 months to 24 months. and if the fiscal position of the united states deteriorates further or if the political gridlock becomes more entrenched, then that could lead to a downgrade. >> here's former fed chairman alan greenspan giving the downgrade a little more context. >> this is not an issue of credit rating.
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the united states can pay any debt it has, because we can always print money to do that. so there is zero probability of default. what i think the s&p thing did was to hit a nerve that there's something basically bad going on and it's hit the self-esteem of the united states, the psyche. >> the obama administration's reaction to the decision included some name-calling. >> i think s&p's shown really terrible judgment and they've handled theirselves very poorly and shown a stunning lack of knowledge about basic u.s. fiscal budget math, and i think they've drawn exactly the wrong conclusion from this budget agreement. >> the basic case is they made a $2 trillion math error and forgot to check their work, so the rating agencies that didn't make a $2 trillion math error re-affirmed the aaa status. >> still, behind the scenes, the
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political reaction for some democrats is grim. politico quotes one senior democratic official saying this, "this is a political thermonuclear explosion that probably just wiped out president obama's re-elect." but on camera democrats were less nervous and pointed the finger elsewhere. >> the fact of the matter is, this is essentially a tea party downgrade. >> this is the tea party downgrade, because a minority of people in the house of representatives countered even the will of many republicans in the united states senate. >> here's the problem president obama faces. it is now one of these "on his watch" moments. the one that the creditworthiness of the u.s. was downgrade, one of just three. but the president has been silent all weekend. he was holed up at camp david. there was some thought he might speak out, maybe say something about the tragedy in afghanistan, but so far, we've heard nothing on him.
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there seems to be a decision made that this was nothing to panic about, this was an s&p error and not something bigger, but there's a lot of nervousness out there and behind the scenes, a lot of democratic hand wringing. "the daily rundown" will be live in des moines on thursday and friday and we're live in ames on saturday for a two-hour prime-time special. there's one potential candidate who won't be in iowa this week, but he caught a lot of attention on saturday. >> he is a wise, wise god and he's wise enough to not be affiliated with any political party. or for that matter, he's wise enough not to be affiliated with any man-made institution. >> rick perry did his best not to make that event on saturday in houston too political, but one thing you learn from this is that he is going to wear his christianity on his sleeve,
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something that could benefit him big in iowa, but he's going. up against somebody who is already benefiting from the evangelical support, and that's michele bachmann. we shall see. anyway, let's begin with the continuing fallout following the s&p's decision to downgrade the u.s. credit rating for the first time. with me now, cnbc's chief washington correspondent, john harwood, who sat down with treasury secretary tim geithner on sunday. and the first piece of news has to do with secretary geithner reaffirming that he is staying for the entirety of the term. that gives some srnt, but what did he say about s&p? >> he was trying to calm the markets with that announcement. and what you saw was so far today, our stock market futures are down, as they were down around the world over the weekend. and the tim geithner had two objectives in that interview that we had. one was to discredit s&p. you played the clip earlier saying that they had terrible judgment, they made a mathematical error. but the other was to address the hit to the psyche that alan
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greenspan mentioned in the clip from "meet the press." tim geithner was trying to assure markets that they should keep and maintain confidence in the american system. take a listen. >> our country is much stronger than washington. we have a very resilient economy. we're a very strong country. and i have enormous confidence in the basic regenerative capacity of the american economy and the american people. the judgment by s&p to change nothing added nothing to what people know about this country. again, there's no risk the u.s. would never meet its obligations. we've got some challenges ahead of us, but we'll be able to work through these challenges and get through this. >> chuck, what you saw was tim geithner not echoing the message you saw from david axelrod saying, i'm not going to do politics, but he did his own version of it, putting it right back on congress. saying congress owns the credit rating of the united states, they have the power of the purse, and it's up to them to win back the confidence of investors. we'll see if that has the effect of increasing pressure on that
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special committee of congress to come up with that grand bargain that eluded them this spring, and we'll see whether the administration can deflect some of the blame. >> one thing i asked the administration yesterday, the heads of the house republicans, senate democrats, any thought of bringing congress back, and all of them said no and seemed to echo this idea that, look, the super committee now has a bigger job ahead of them than maybe even they imagined. >> i think, chuck, if they tried to bring back the congress and jam something through right now, given the fact they have this special committee getting ready to begin its work, that would just be setting the markets up for disappointment and would probably backfire. >> john harwood, cnbc's chief correspondent, tremendous interview with tim geithner. thanks very much. the big question on the minds of americans today, when will employers start hiring again. forget the markets, how about the unemployment rate? if voters can't get jobs, can the president expect to keep his next year? we'll ask terry mcauliffe next,
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the former head of the dnc. first, the president's schedule. nothing on there publicly until some dnc events tonight. what do you bet that changes? you're watching "the daily rundown." specialists, lots of doctors, lots of advice... and my hands were full. i couldn't sort through it all. with unitedhealthcare, it's different. we have access to great specialists, and our pediatrician gets all the information. everyone works as a team. and i only need to talk to one person about her care. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. my old contacts would sometimes move and blur my vision. then my eye doctor told me about acuvue® oasys for astigmatism. he said it's the only lens of its kind designed to realign naturally with every blink so now, i'm seeing more clearly. [ male announcer ] learn more at acuvue.com.
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if you were in the southeastern conference, he would be fired as a coach. he would not have his contract renewed. everything is worse. unemployment is up by 18%, gas prices are up by 93%. everything, housing prices are down by 12%. he's had a chance, we're three years into this, and he's failing. >> well, one thing, lindsey graham is right, they have no patience in the southeastern conference. you have about two or three years to get it done or you are fired. the central question facing president obama's re-election campaign, can president obama persuade voters to rehire them
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when so many of them have lost their jobs. terry mcauliffe is a former chairman of the democratic national committee, he chairs green tech automotive, which builds electric and hybrid vehicles. we'll talk about what you are doing on the job creation front, but let's talk about the politics of this here a minute. it felt like a body blow on friday, just a double whammy. already, the markets were reeling, and then s&p does this. yes, it may have been a political decision, but if you're sitting in that white house, what advice are you giving the president today to deal with this? it's a country feeling a little hung over, almost. >> it goes to the broader issue, where are the jobs? and if i hear one more politician talk about jobs without putting any meat on the bones -- we've got to have real ideas. i just got home from china last night. we've got to have a real plan to move this country forward. if i were the president, you know, here congress has gone
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home. i hope they're not home thumping their chests saying what that great job they did, because they didn't. people are saying, what's going on in the united states of america, they look like fools debating up in the congress. if i was the president, i would call the congress back in and say, you're not having a summer vacation. get back here. >> and do what? what is it they should do? i keep hearing this, you've got to do something to create jobs -- okay, trade agreements, what else? >> force the trade agreements, let's have tax credits for r&d, for hiring new employees. we need in this country, chuck, a long-term strategic plan to create what i talk about are manufacturing jobs. 50,000 plants have closed in the last ten years. i'm doing it. i have a plant in mississippi, actually two, about to announce another here in america. i just announced a plant in china, a gigantic 8.8 million square feet. >> do you have impediments in
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this? ed up you wanted to build these plants here? >> we went and did it ourselves, we're a private company, we're entrepreneurial. it took us a year to negotiate the deal. i signed the agreement in china in may. in 2 1/2 months, they have cleared 500 acres. you have to compact the soil because of an auto plant. we're ready to go. laid the cornerstone two days ago in china. we're off and building it. but we need incentives here in this country. we're falling backwards on our infrastructure, on our education. we've got to go after china and india. i talk about green energy all the time. we cannot continue to import 58% of our oil from mooern countries who particularly at times don't like us. we can't go from an economy where we have taken oil from saudi arabia and kuwait and then ten years from now, we're getting solar panels from germany and china.
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we've got to do it here. we've got to innovate. quit the bickering. these politicians all talk about things and are not creating one single job. >> give advice to bill daley and the president? >> bring everybody back here. this is what people want. >> they really want to see them back at work? some of them are saying, do they want them back at work -- >> they're paying their salary. 15 million people out of jobs, we need to create 150,000 jobs per month just to keep up with population growth. we're not close to that. we need an apollo project for manufacturing jobs here in america. we invented the kindle here in america. but you know what, chuck, we didn't make it here. we shipped that overseas. we've got to start making products here. let's put our people back to work and the white house and the congress, this isn't a partisan -- forget it. we're the greatest nation in the world. we've got to be back acting like we're number one. we are the only ones that can weave the world out of these economic troubles. we're the world leader, we've got to act like it.
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>> you sound like the president's been a little too timid on this -- >> i think president obama and mitch mcconnell and harry reid and john boehner and nancy pelosi, all of them. everybody takes responsibility for this. let the evidence speak for itself. we are not creating jobs in this country. we are not keeping up with population growth. i have five children. i worry about what is their economic future going to look like. and i worry about the debate that went on and that we're going to cut infrastructure where we're getting a "d" on roads and bridges. we're cutting back on education when our children should be taking more -- >> how did that happen? it seems like the whole fight, it's not about, what are we cutting, it came about how much we cut. is that the president's fault, harry reid's fault, the democrats not fighting hard enough? what is it? >> i think a big mistake was made. and i think warren buffett or somebody said this a couple weeks ago, and i agree 100%. we should never couple raising the debt and tying that to
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deficit reduction. understand, raising the debt means paying our bills. i was in china when this was going on. and they're saying, terry, let me be clear. these are things you have spent. you're now going to say you're not going to pay for them? that's an entirely different argument. do we need to bring our deficit down? you bet we do, but that's separate from raising the debt limit. if we as america spent it, we pay it. in my business, if i don't make my payroll or i'm not paying my vendors, guess what, i'm chapter 7. i don't have people saying, i'm not going to pay it if you don't give me this. >> you're building a factory in china, but this is going to create american jobs? there's a little bit of disconnect for me? >> no, with let's be clear. we're now a global economy, chuck. china is the number one auto sales in the world. right now they're leading the world in that. our cars, green tech, it's not green unless it's affordable. we couldn't afford to ship our cars over there because they're very cost-efficient. >> you're building some cars there and some cars here? >> two different things. i have a plant in mississippi
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under construction in tunica, mississippi. a deal i negotiated with haley barbour, the former chairman of the republican party. it isn't partisan politics, it's about jobs. and it's good for him, it's good for us. what we're doing in china is, because of the high tariffs, we have to build there. it's the fastest growing auto market in the world. so the cars will be built there, but all the core products, all the core ingredients that go inside the car, the power train, the battery, all made in america and shipped over there. what great news. i am sick and tired of seeing our jobs going to china. i am sick and tired of seeing big cargo ships coming in from china. we did two things from the company. last year, i went to china, bought one of their big electric car companies and moved the entire company to the united states of america. i can show you that americans can build it better if and when we open this new plant in china, i'm competing against the chinese car company right across the street. we're going to beat them? why, because we've got american ingenuity and technology in our cars and we are the best.
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>> terry mcauliffe, we'll see if the white house takes your advice on this, if they bring everybody back in washington. we'll be watching green tech. congratulations on that. >> and buy one of my cars. >> i assume you're not done with politics either? >> we'll see. still ahead, we'll take you live to the opening bell on wall street. how hard will the debt rating downgrade slam the markets? but first, the deadliest day in afghanistan. 30 americans killed in a single attack. what's it mean for the war that's now been going on for ten long years? and now, today's trivia question, kicking off our big iowa week here on "the daily rundown." since 1980, the first significant iowa caucuses for the republicans, how many republican caucus winners went on to win the party's nomination for the presidency that same year? tweet me the answe answeranswer, @chucktodd or @dailyrundown. we're taking "the daily rundown" on the road this week, we'll be live from des moines on friday and saturday and live from good old ames on saturday. don't miss the prime-time edition of "the daily rundown"
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in eastern afghanistan, army rangers and nato forces are literally and figuratively picking up the pieces following this weekend's helicopter crash and attack that killed 30 americans, including some of the country's most elite troops, some navy s.e.a.l.s. nbc's chief foreign correspondent, richard engel, is in kabul. i understand another chopper had a close call this morning. what's the latest? >> reporter: that chopper, we are told, had a hard landing, but was not shot down. that it was a mechanical failure of some sort. the taliban immediately claimed responsibility, but u.s. military officials are clearly saying that another helicopter was not shot down. we are also finding out some new details about that deadly helicopter crash over the weekend in which 30 americans, 22 of them navy s.e.a.l.s, and 8 afghans were killed. the u.s. military saying that that chinook helicopter was on its way to a target about 60
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miles southwest of here in kabul, serving as reinforcement for an ongoing operation being conducted by army rangers. the rangers were engaged in a heavy firefight. they were on a target, hunting for taliban militants. and as the reinforcement as arrived on that chinook helicopter, it apparently was shot down. the taliban says it fired one rpg rocket from very close range, about 150 yards. the taliban also says it had 12 militants in the compound at the time and that 8 of them were killed. the site, we are told by nato officials, has been secured and officials are on the ground, still collecting the debris and also trying to identify the remains of those who were on board. >> and richard, when should we expect these troops to make their way, their final stop home in dover? >> reporter: we don't have any
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word on that, we have just been told that it will be soon, that they're still in the collection process, that there's an ongoing investigation, the site is secure. they're advising afghans to stay away from the area, but no time frame on when any of the remains will be repatriated. >> and going quickly on the attack from the taliban itself, is this an indication that they have reinforcements themselves, or was this simply they just got lucky? >> reporter: it sounds like it was a lucky shot, taking down a chinook helicopter with a single rpg is quite difficult. helicopters are vulnerable when they're taking off and when they're landing, because a rocket fired at close range, even an unguided rocket like an rpg can be very dangerous. richard engel for us in kabul this morning, thanks for your reporting. we're just minutes away from the opening bell and the u.s. market's first reaction to the s&p debt downgrade. plus, mixing prayer and
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politics. rick perry wants americans to pray away our economic woes. and michele bachmann, let's just say the faithful at the church she went to were praying for something totally different. and on the day the white house announces sweeping changes to no child left behind, new york mayor cory booker joins us to talk about that and more on the economic front. tinted moisturizers with scientifically proven soy complex and natural minerals. give you sheer coverage instantly, then go on to even skin tone in four weeks. aveeno tinted moisturizers. then go on to even skin tone in four weeks. [ cat meows ] ♪ [ acoustic guitar: pop ] [ woman ] ♪ i just want to be okay ks ] ♪ be okay, be okay ♪ i just want to be okay today - ♪ i just want to know today - [ whistles ] ♪ know today, know today - [ cat meows ] - ♪ know that maybe i will be okay ♪ [ chimes ] travelers can help you protect the things you care about...
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almost the bottom of the hour now. the opening bell is set to ring on wall street. dow futures were down sharply on this first day of trading since the debt rating downgrade and now we'll get our first taste as to what of the day on wall
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street could look like. it could bugly. . it was ugly overseas. italy has had quite the impact on wall street over the past few days. and now we see the combination of both europe and their problems and this s&p downgrade, in general, nervousness here. we'll be tracking it all morning. another story we've been following. it's been a violent weekend in london as police arrested 160 people during a rash of riots, looting, and violence that injured 35 officers. groups of masked and hooded young people ransacked shops, attacked police, and set fire to vehicles. the violence was sparked by the fatal police shooting thursday of a deadly violent of a father of four. well, president obama's looking to leave his mark on the country's education system and efforts to reform the almost decade-old no child left behind act are stalled in congress so the administration has decided to take matters into its own
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hand, literally, announcing waivers for states with their own approved alternate plans to fix the school. newark, new jersey, mayor cory booker is one of the voices arguing that the status quo simply isn't good enough, part of education nation. he joins me now. let me start with the administration basically giving up on cutting a deal with congress. >> first of all, i think one of the best things we've seen in america is how people on the left and the right, in cities and states have been coming together to make real substantiative education reform. and we can't let the dysfunction in congress undermine sensible, pragmatic changes, that all stakes with republican governors and democratic governors are asking for. so i think the president is again doing the right thing, focusing on the people and the children and not on politics and partisanship. >> and this is what confuses me, mayor booker, because i see you and governor christie on the republican side of the aisle, and you're right, you see a lot
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of republican mayors and vicer is versa trying to come up with a solution. >> governor christie and i could write a the dissertation on our disagreements up and down the board, but when it comes to children in newark, new jersey, he and i have found a number of places where we can work together by keeping our focus not on each other, not on politics, not on the parties that we belong to, but what is going to practically work best to deal with what i consider one of the most morally unjustified things in the united states of america. that our child's destiny will be determined on the zip code they're born in. worse than that, all this talk about jobs and our economy, the number one indicator of how our country is going to do is the strength of the minds of our children. and we are damning our future by doing what we're doing right now, which is a horrible neglect of our schools. you cannot have a leading democracy if you have a lagging education system. >> now, you're on the front
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lines of this. what's one waiver you need out of no child left behind for newark? >> look, i'm one of those people who said, we should have accountability. it's lack of accountability in government and public schools that has allowed the mediocrity and even failure to flourish. but the reality is the harsh, punitive testing realities of pulling back of federal funds. if we don't meet unrealistic benchmarks has created an atmosphere in america where we're too testing obsessed. i'm a person who believes you should have objective criteria for measuring success, but what's happening right now in the united states of america is people squeezing out everything else in education to focus on performance on standardized tests. and many states are dumbing down the tests just to meet the federal standards, which is really the wrong way of approaching it. what we should do is have clear 21st century standards, ways of measuring progress towards those standards that are fair and realistic. and we should have, you know, i think we've, dammed as a country
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with low expectations. we should have high expectations for our kids, but realistic ways of measuring progress for that. >> let's talk about the jobs front. as a mayor, what do you need out of washington right now? what law would you like to see passed? what regulation put in or lifted to help create jobs in newark, new jersey? >> but first, i want to stick with the subject of education. what i don't want to happen in washington is for us to cannibalize what has made this country great. so when i hear things like cutting pell grants, then you're closing the door to education. there is a need for more engineers in our nation, there's a need for more scientists in our nation. so if we continue to lock a whole bunch of people in a world where college education is too far beyond our reach, we're going to lock in a permanent underclass in our country. i do not want to see us disinvesting in higher education. when you see great systems like california's public college system being cannibalized right
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now for the case of short-term budget crises, that means we as a nation are undermining our future growth. in addition to that, i want to see us being bold a little bit and making sure we're investing in those programs that we know actually work and help create jobs. so i have many people in my city that do benefit from government programs that focus on job training and focus on job readiness. and we need to make sure that we're continuing to invest in those programs. >> one quick political question. how formidable would chris christie be as president obama's opponent if he were the republican nominee in 2012? >> well, look, i think chris christie, there's a lot of things i disagree with him, but he's proving he's hitting the right tone in many ways that's resonating with a lot of americans. i think he would be formidable. but i tell you this, barack obama is a president-elected during the most difficult time in my lifetime. and he's helped to endure through difficult waters and move our country forward. we have challenges right now,
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but i have faith in our leader, and i'll tell you what. i hope that we have a presidential election where two great candidates are focused on the issues and have a good dialogue, not a petty partisan dialogue, but a good dialogue about what's going to make our country great. if that's going to be the kind of election we have, it's going told vat our nation. i think in that kind of contest, president obama will do well. >> mayor cory booker of newark, new jersey, mr. mayor, thanks for coming on and thanks for tweeting as much as you do. >> thank you very much. i appreciate it. >> join msnbc this sunday, august 14th at noon for a special two-hour program, "a stronger america: making the grade" hosted with tamron hall and jeff johnson of the grio. and you can be part of the conversation facebook.com/strongeramerica or follow us @strongeramerica use the hash tag making the grade.
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this is a time when we do need to be encouraged this week, not discouraged. encouraged. so i think we feed to set our mind of things -- >> campaign in churches is nothing new in iowa, nothing controversial about bachmann's comments, but the sermon that followed is a different story. jamie novagrad was traveling with her and he is there. what can you tell me about the sermon she was sitting in the audience for? >> the important thing you said, this all happened within the context of a campaign visit. this wasn't part of michele bachmann's remarks, a reading from the book of flippians. it was after she sat down that the pastor of the church, pastor jeff mullen began about a
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30-minute discussion, what he called a teaching on the importance of marriage, the value of marriage, and a criticism of homosexuality. he said that the bible teaches that homosexual behavior is immoral and unnatural. he made several readings from the bible in order to support his case. and then at the end, chuck, of his sermon, he threw to a video testimonial of a man named adam hood who claims to have been gay before having an evangelical experience, a conversation with god, that saved him and now he says he's married, his wife is nine months pregnant, and he's happy. >> and jamie, you said, you went to the bachmann campaign, and this is -- there have been some other stories about her belief on this front and whether she believes this or not and she has
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sort of sidestepped it. what does the campaign say about this? >> i spoke to the campaign, and they made the point that this happened within the context of a campaign visit. they say that they had no prove on what the subject of the sermon was going to be and in a statement to me, they said that -- they said that michele bachmann always enjoys meeting with parishioners. so this was just the sermon on a sunday morning of a church that the bachmanns visits. >> all right, jamie novogrod, i'll see you in ames and des moines later this week. >> reporter: chuck, i look forward to it. thank you. >> all right. texas governor rick perry also attended a church service of sorts. he actually hosted a massive prayer rally in houston where he asked the 30,000 who attended to pray for their country. >> our heart breaks for america. as a nation, we have forgotten
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who made us, who protects us, who blesses us. and for that we cry out for your forgiveness. >> nbc campaign reporter carrie dan is who we have traveling with governor perry and she joins me now from austin. carrie, a bit controversial going in, how does the perry team think it went? >> the organizers i spoke with and the people in the perry camp were very pleased, i think, how this worked out. early on, the estimate we initially received was that 8,000 guests had registered to attend this event. now, in the stadium, reliant stadium in houston, where perry was speaking, where the houston texans play and a super bowl has been held, 8,000 people does not sound a lot. now, obviously, that estimate was vastly, vastly beaten by the instantaneous. there were over 30,000 people who attend. they had to open up additional seating to make sure everybody had a place to be. and this gave perry a chance in
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front of this big crowd to speak to evangelical christians and say, i'm one of you. i believe what you believe and let's come together and pray for our nation together. and i think that that's a message that his supporters say is really going to resonate with people who are primary voters in iowa and south carolina. >> and kerry, he didn't sound very political in a lot of his remarks. how political did you feel the event was? how political were the other speakers? >> the concern going in was that some of these other speakers that were sharing the stage, this was a seven-hour event, so there was a lot of room for error. there was a concern that somebody would say, whether it was pastor john hagee who's been controversial in the past, that someone on stage would say something controversial and it would be associated with governor perry. but for the most part that didn't happen. critics will say just because perry is being spoken about as a 2012 candidate made it in some ways political in and of itself. and there were groups that are
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protesting both the day before and outside of reliant stadium who said that this event was one political -- that perry was using it for political gains, and two, that it was exclusionary. one of the groups that was cohosting it, have said controversial things about same-sex marriage and abortion. so there was a connection there and some concern about that. now, perry did make a statement, "i believe in a god that is not a political god, that is too wise to be affiliated with any political party." that's the message he was trying to get across. >> carrie dann, our campaign reporter on the official non-campaign campaign of rick perry. carrie, thanks very much. up next, all eyes will be on the hawkeye state this week. our powerhouse panel is here to prove the ames straw poll. but first, the white house soup of the day, what do you have on downgrade monday? chicken noodle. you're watching "the daily rundown" only on msnbc. e the best toffee in the world.
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the daily flashback. 37 years ago, richard nixon, the 37th president of the united states announced his resignation. and the next day on page a-37 of "the washington post," woodward and bernstein wrote, "the man behind the web of watergate was pushed from the pinnacle in disgrace." thanks for chris donovan for crunching the number on that one. careful, d.c. lotto players, lots of 3s and 7s going to be played today. the s&p said it took the unprecedented step of downgrades the u.s. credit because political gridlock makes fiscal reform unlikely. and washington did its best to prove s&p's point. >> i agree there is dysfunction in our system and a lot of it
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has to do with the failure of the president of the united states to lead. >> for the first time, it happened on his watch. mr. president, you were awol. >> i think this is a tea party problem, because they're totally unreasonable and i think they've been smoking some of that tea, not just drinking it. >> michael steele is an msnbc political analyst and former president of the rnc and susan page, and former congressman, robert wexler, president of the abraham center for middle east peace. congressman wexler, there's a lot of hand wringing going on with some supporters of the president dealing with this downgrade. maureen dowd writes, "barack obama blazed like luke skywalker in 2008, but he never learned to channel the force, and now the tea party has run off with his
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light sab wesh tesaber, the dis his promise, and his reality is jarring." they just want him to do something? do something to sporespond to t. >> the american people are thirsty for leadership and he uniquely can provide it. but don't write this president off. the president's message is still the correct one. which is, we have to create jobs, jobs, in fact, will bring down the deficit, cutting the deficit won't create a single job. and that is, in essence, at this point, the president's message. he's got to build infrastructure, get those construction jobs back, and he's got to give the american people confidence. just weeks ago, we saw an incredibly confident president with respect to the killing of bin laden. he needs to bring that same intensity with respect to the economy and the downgrade. >> michael steele, in s&p's note, it was a hit on republicans too, the idea that
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there's intransigence here, that they can't bring it together. the issue that taxes can never be on the table. and that was among the reasons s&p used. so in many ways, channelinging the president's talking points, even as the president with the downgrade, what's the message to republican leaders? >> i think the message for republican leaders is you can't just say everything's on the table and not put everything on the table. to be on honest broker in this debate means you're going to have to look at the revenue side and do it in a way, as mr. boehner was preparing to do with the $800 billion that he had proposed, to look at those areas of the tax code and elsewhere that allow you to do that without raising the rates on individuals. i have a problem with s&p, as a bond lawyer, for close to 20 years, watching them engage politically in something that is well beyond their scope and purview, where were they when all of this was going to happen many years ago. many folks in congress are looking at s&p and going, so what is your political agenda and why are you getting involved at this level? it's a mixed message coming out right now.
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>> and susan page, that's the issue for a lot of people like you and i who are not bond lawyers. it's like they decided to channel their inner sue and chuck rather than just looking at the numbers? >> true. administration has bee quick to point out a $2 trillion math mistake. that seems like a lot of money to me. maybe or not to sartandard & poor poor's. the biggest problems facing us on the fiscal front, growth of entitlement programs. not dealt with in this dead deal. >> would you bring -- terry said president out to bring congress back. is that what you would say to bill daley this morning? >> as long as the president has a list of programs, a list of ideas. don't just bring him back for the sake of bringing him back. but what i think the president should not be afraid of at this point is making big ideas,
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making the big push and then have congress not do it. that's okay, too. because, in fact -- >> it's funny you bring this up. i've heard this criticism they're almost too afraid of losing a fight so they back off, so that they just figure out how to get a minor victory. >> i think president clinton was the master at creating dynamic where he wins, whether he wins or loses. that's the dynamic now the president alone can create. he should seek to create it. but this is bigger than a partisan issue and he shouldn't create it as a partisan issue but create that danger zone for the republicans to say no. >> in a minute, michael steele. hang on. trivia time. we can since 1980 the first significant what caucuses for republicans, how many republican caucus winners went on to win the party's nomination for president? just two. bob dole in 1996 and george w. bush in 2000. reagan, my friend, lost in 1980. .
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let's bring back our panel. michael steele, let me start with you. who has the most to gain and lose this week in the straw poll week? >> the most to gain this week would be tim pawlenty. if he can just get to second or third in that poll. >> wow, you're giving him third. that's awfully kind of you. he only has to give him third? you don't think it's first place -- >> no, well, we change the process under my chairmanship. we designed it in a way it can get a little -- you don't necessarily have to win it all up front. a guy like pawlenty -- >> he has to get -- >> he has to show a little game in the top three. >> how big of a week? >> not a little bit. >> what is the pressure on michele bachmann? >> we expect her to win. if she doesn't, that will be a surprise. and she's got another problem, is that rick perry looks like he's coming into this race, he goes -- >> announcement he's already starting to raise money. he could announce the week after the straw poll. >> raising money usually means
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you're going to run. >> but that's not relevant for this argument. >> for the straw poll but he goes at the same group of voters she goes for. a big challenge. >> are you hearing any serious chatter about a primary challenge to the president? >> no. >> doesn't seem like any of that is that serious? >> no. >> don't buy it? >> no. quickly, shameless plug? >> the root.com, i have to piece up on debt and deficit. >> he's back with the nets. >> social security added a penny to the deficit, washington -- >> look at you. always a florida congressman. that's it for this edition of the "daily rundown" and we're taking it on the road this week. live in des moines and saturday don't miss a special prime time edition with the ames straw poll. don't miss andrea mitchell reports. bye-bye. d a summer vaycay. ooo. sounds pricey?
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